Occasionally we do a restaurant review and since I've been spending my Fridays in downtown Los Angeles here is a quick review of a famous favorite. If you've never been to Olivera Street put it on your things to do in LA.
La Luz del Dia
1 Olivera Street
Los Angeles, CA 91024
Growing up in the Los Angeles area and working downtown LA, I've been to Olivera St. more times than I can count; so I know the food. My usual haunt is Cielito Lindo's at the opposite end of the street but my dad's favorite was La Luz so this week I decided to have lunch.
First off they've replaced the abuelita (grandmother) slapping masa into fresh tortillas with two women mashing the dough with a tortilla press. Not the same texture at all. When I asked one of the owners why he honestly told me it just got too expensive and he knew it wasn't as good but, what can ya do?
The whole meal was just average but nothing like it use to be. My tamale was tender as was the meat in my soft taco but the sauce flat and uninteresting. The fresh salsa was as mild as you could get it. The missing chilies seemed to be replaced with onion.
Their cafeteria style of service does move quickly and it was quite busy because it's tourist season there on the calle. I was glad to see they still have the vieja señoras to take your tray of food to a table and it's quite funny to see tourist try to wrestle away that tray. They are very insistent and frown upon anyone saving a table before your food is ready. Their system has worked for 49 years so don't muck it up. I just wish they hadn't mucked up the food.